During question period Tuesday, Ontario NDP health critic France Gélinas demanded that Premier Kathleen Wynne stop forcing patients in Ontario to be treated in hospital hallways, as hospital overcrowding takes its toll on Ottawa hospitals.
“Hospitals are facing an overcrowding crisis that keeps getting worse,” Gélinas said. "I'm concerned about patients in pain or discomfort being told to wait even longer. I'm concerned about people being left in a hallway bed that doesn't offer the comfort they need."
The Ontario NDP health critic cited an Ottawa Citizen report about 94-year-old Margaret Otto who was brought, by ambulance, to an overcrowded Ottawa hospital.
“Margaret had to lie on a stretcher in the busy Emergency Room for hours. It was noisy. She couldn’t rest. And as her daughter Patricia says: ‘It is pretty sad that a woman of her age and in her condition can’t get a room’,” Gelinas said. “When will the premier stop forcing seniors, like Margaret, to be treated in hallways – and do something to solve the overcrowding crisis inside our hospitals?”
Gélinas said overcrowding has forced the Queensway Carleton Hospital to cancel 36 surgeries in recent months, while patients across the province are waiting longer for care. In January, the Ontario Hospital Association wrote that emergency department wait times are the longest on record since Ontario started measuring wait times nine years ago.
“It’s not just people in Ottawa who are suffering from the overcrowding crisis created by this Liberal government,” Gélinas said. “The premier’s record is one of overcrowded hospitals, seniors on stretchers, cancelled surgeries, and longer wait times for families across the province.
“When will this premier stop squeezing our hospitals and put an end to hallway medicine in Ontario?”